As many of you may know by now, the Detroit Pistons will be playing playoff basketball for the first time since 2016 and the second time in the last ten years. First off, suck it to the tank crowd. I hate the idea of tanking because losing sucks and I am not sold on tanking even working. An organization like the Pistons needs to take baby steps to build a winning culture. The first step is effort. Blake has embedded that with his consistent hustle despite being the best player on the team. He continually was diving for lose balls and sacrificing his body. The next step was to get into the playoffs. Its all about the little things. Secondly, the tank crowd can suck it once more.
Western Conference Preview:
Golden State (1) vs LA Clippers (8)
- I feel bad for the Clippers because they have had a great season while retooling for the future only to be promptly curb stomped by the Warriors in the first round. Should be business as usual for Steph Curry and the crew.
- GS Wins 4-0
Denver (2) vs San Antonio (7)
- A very interesting series simply because of the experience differential between the two franchises. Denver has been amazing all year but the Spurs are the Spurs and will inherently be pesky. Denver will win but it wont be easy.
- Denver Wins 4-2
Portland (3) vs Oklahoma City (6)
- Probably the series in the West that is on the highest “upset” alert. OKC has been pretty bad down the stretch but that doesn’t mean Russ, PG, and Adams aren’t going to be playing. They can turn it around at any time. I guess I just don’t trust Portland yet until they actually do something.
- OKC Wins 4-2
Houston (4) vs Jazz (5)
- I’m being completely honest here, I probably couldn’t name three players on the Jazz. For that reason, I will pick Houston. Gobert will give Harden a tough time at the rack but Harden will just end up shooting 50 free throws a game.
- Houston Wins 4-1
Eastern Conference Preview:
Milwaukee (1) vs Detroit (8)
- As pumped as I am for the Pistons and want to blindly believe they will pull off the rare 8-1 upset, the Bucks have arguably the best player in the league. Add on the fact that Griffin basically has one leg right now and there isn’t much light at the end of this tunnel. I do think the Pistons take the next step in their culture change and win a game.
- Milwaukee Wins 4-1
Toronto (2) vs Orlando (7)
- Orlando played surprisingly well this year behind Gordon and Fournier. Former Piston DJ Augustine had been absolutely cooking lately. But, much like the Bucks and Pistons, the Raptors have the best player on the floor in Kawhi Leonard. Also, Toronto provides a huge home court advantage.
- Toronto Wins 4-0
Philadelphia (3) vs Brooklyn (6)
- Philly is clearly more talented but I feel like Brooklyn is going to be a tough out. This will be the only first round series to go seven games but the higher seed will persevere. Butler, Simmons, and Embiid are just too much for the Nets.
- Philly Wins 4-3
Boston (4) vs Indiana (5)
- This will probably be the most fun series in the first round. A lot of close games and maybe a little controversy. Marcus Smart is out for the Celtics and that is a much bigger blow than people realize. The plucky Pacers are about as tough as they come for 5-seeds.
- Indy Wins 4-2